According to CNET's News.com, processor-manufacturer Advanced Micro Devices will announce the imminent departure of Henri Richard, the company's chief sales officer, later this afternoon. Richard's loss is a very significant development in what has been a disastrous year for AMD. The company's flagship product for 2007, a quad-core server chip known as Barcelona, will arrive six months later than expected after a number of technical glitches; in the interim, AMD has lost a substancial amount of money trying to compete against Intel's quad-core chips by slashing the prices of its dual-core chips.
Taking up his position in 2002, Richard has been a very public figure at AMD, as opposed to CEO Hector Ruiz and COO Dirk Meyer. He presided over a question-and-answer session with reporters last month at AMD's analyst meeting, and has been one of the leading executive voices behind AMD's antitrust campaign against Intel. An AMD representative declined to comment on the report but if the date of Richard's departure is accurate, the company will have to pull off its biggest product launch of the year with Barcelona without its head salesman.